Telstra and Ericsson lay foundation for 'network of the future'

Media Release, 27 February 2017

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, Telstra has selected Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) for several key programs supporting Telstra’s “Network of the Future” transformation program.

The program includes:

  • a nationwide optical network transformation and expansion;
  • 5G New Radio trials leading to early 5G launch readiness;
  • creation of a media delivery cloud to complement the existing Telco Cloud project (now carrying live traffic); and
  • deployment of Australia’s largest Internet of Things (IoT) network via deployment of Cat M1 functionality across Australia.

Optical transformation to enable 5G, IoT, Cloud, Media

Ericsson will deliver a three-year optical transmission network and rollout plan to expand Telstra’s long haul, metro and regional optical networks – the foundation for Telstra’s fixed and mobile networks. Ericsson will supply, install and integrate the next generation of converged packet-optical solutions from Ciena. The solution will have the resiliency, speed and security to meet expected traffic growth, and support critical IoT and 5G traffic, along with cloud and media services.

5G NR trials drive commercialisation

Ericsson, Telstra and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announce plans to conduct interoperability testing and an over-the-air field trial based on the expected 5G NR specifications being developed by 3GPP, which will form the basis of the global standards. These trials in Australia aim to accelerate commercialization of the global 3GPP 5G standard to drive the 5G ecosystem towards scale.

NFVi – Telco Cloud goes live & new Media Cloud announced

Announced at last year’s MWC, Telstra’s Network Function Virtualization infrastructure (NFVi) program has made substantial progress to enable the first video call over a virtualized network function, the Enhanced Packed Gateway (EPG). Delivery of live traffic on the NFVi platform is an important step towards preparing the Telstra mobile network for 5G, where capabilities such as network slicing allows combinations of capacity, speed, latency, quality of service and geographic delivery to meet different business requirements.

Further on Cloud, Telstra intends to extend the Ericsson cloud platform deployment to include a media-optimized cloud specially configured to carry dedicated broadcast media workloads. Telstra’s goal for the broadcast sector is to provide reliable and resilient network access, with high bandwidth and latency requirements, supporting broadcasters in their shift toward use of IP processing for broadcast content.

Australia’s first national IoT network

Telstra is the first operator to deploy a national IoT-enabled mobile network which will enable an IoT footprint among the largest in the world. The deployed Cat-M1 capability will allow Telstra to deploy a comprehensive range of IoT applications quickly and flexibly – accelerating the growth of Australia’s IoT ecosystem.

Telstra and Ericsson have commenced localized Cat-M1 trials in Melbourne and Tasmania. Device partners in the Tasmanian trial are Sierra Wireless, Altair and Bosch. As Cat-M1 device and solutions become commercially available, Telstra is well prepared to support their operation across its 4G network which covers over 98 percent of the Australian population.

Network of the Future starts today

Mike Wright, Telstra Group Managing Director, Networks, said: “These projects lay the foundations of the program we described in October 2016 and provide the foundation for Telstra’s Network of the Future program which is essential to delivering our customers a brilliantly connected future.

“Our expanded optical network will support important emerging network capabilities such as IoT, 5G and enhanced media delivery. And our move to virtualization through the Telco and Media Cloud projects will enable us to deliver our customers unique and differentiated services to meet their personal and business needs.”

Emilio Romero, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, said: “Ericsson is working closely with Telstra to deliver next-generation technologies in each key area of Telstra’s network. Starting with the nationwide optical network, to advancing mobile networks with 5G radio trials, and progressing the shift to cloud network functionality and enabling new specialized workloads; together we are putting the network fundamentals in place for Telstra’s Network of the Future program.

“Contributing to these advances are Qualcomm Technologies, Ciena, Sierra Wireless, Altair and Bosch – technology evolution such as those discussed are only possible through strong collaborative approaches. These collaborations will deliver Telstra advanced network capabilities in optical, 5G, IoT and Cloud, and in turn support Telstra’s customers to receive the benefits from early technology innovation.”

Fact sheets

  • 5G new radio trails (PDF, 383KB)
  • Telco Media Cloud (PDF, 383KB)
  • Optical (PDF, 359KB)
  • Cat M1 (PDF, 387KB)